Just gaaaah!!(15 Posts)
Just need to let off some steam in the hope that someone has some useful advice /experience.
My issue is my DH's ex. His DD lives with us. We have 2 children. DSD and I get on brilliantly, she's a lovely girl. She gets on with her siblings wonderfully and they love her too, mind you, they're only babies. We do have some issues but put these down to her age (she's just 6) and the fact she has endured many changes in her life so far. The ex on the other hand is horrid. Essentially, she has recently taken the decison to move 2 hrs away to be with her new partner. In fairness she wanted to take DD however after months of legal stuff the courts ruled against DD going. (History is that DH had 50 / 50 split with ex). Despite this ex still went and has shown no signs of moving back. As an aside she has family here, we simply live here because SD goes to school here and is settled. Our families are at least an hr away, so we don't get a lot of support etc..
Ex is understandably upset about the courts decision, and as a parent I cannot imagine only seeing your child a few times a week (after school) and EOW so try to appreciate how hard the situation must have hit her, mind you, none of this was considered when she was proposing that her DD was to see her Daddy once a week and a day at the weekend...
DSD cannot understand any of this and ex has told her that she NEEDS to stay at Daddy's as that's where school is. We have been vague and keep emphasising that she will see Mummy after school and some w/e's , 2 homes etc... play up the positives. Trouble is she misses her Mum and keeps saying that she could stay at her Mum's in the week . Now we know that Mum has put the idea in her head and DSD keeps saying that she 'can't see Mummy because of Daddy'. Now this (and numerous other comments) really upset him, and rankle me. DSD do9esn't understand. The fact is the ex moved, she could move back, she has connections here. I really want to say (but wouldn'[t because of the upset to DSD) that Mummy decided to move. I just can't get past this and everytime ex shouts and screams at us, critises my involvement with DSD and says unkind things about my children (babies) I am supposed to shut up because of the fear of legal stuff. I just can't hack it, this woman is harming her own child through her selfishness. Whereas we have no right to reply... grrr... and this is just the tip of the iceberg.. she blames everyone else for the situation, when she moved.. she'd rather blame us for not allowing a circa 4 hr round car trip in one day than move back...rant over..
Say to her "but Mummy has moved to xxx so it's not that easy for you to stay there in the week when your school is here"
Why should you be painted as the baddie all the time?
You can put her straight without slagging her Mum off. I often have to tell DSD that "Mummy must be mistaken ... that didn't happen!" when she spouts out a load of her Mum's spiteful lies.
I Agree with Kaluki. I think there is a way of explaining the situation without it sounding like you are having a pop at her mum. Stick to fact though... don't use emotional words.
agree with Kaluki too, DSS has just moved with his mum and he is moaning about all the travelling he does and is expecting us to move nearby. We can't if we wanted to, and DH just tells him, 'it was his mother's choice to move and the situation is not our fault.'
Thanks for the responses. I can see what you're all saying. The problem is, before ex moved she started taking DSD to and from from school to husbands home (before she had moved) so DSD has got it in her mind that this is a possibility. OH was utterly against it and made his feelings quite clear and got the metaphorical finger and rubbish like ' I'm integrating her into her new home'. DSD is 6 and is not aware of the implications of a long journey every few days and because she's repeatedly been told the journey isn't long or it isn't far she gets v v upset if you try to state otherwise. She is very confused and has made comments to me in the past re 'mummy still driving home' when she is off to bed, it obviously weighs on her mind etc.. The midweek contact is now a major bone of contention. I can't explain it, it's a very long and involved story, but suffice to say that the ex has an arguement for everything even in the face of what's best for her daughter, courts and common sense and will not back down. I'm not saying that as a frustrated 'new wife' (although I am bloody annoyed at the impact she is having on our lives and the casual disregard she has for her daughter dressed up as something else), however she is simply selfish selfish selfish but continues to blame OH for the situation and accuses him of impacting their relationship. Nobody is denying that DSD loves her mum nor should have a relationship with her, but not the the detriment of DSD.
Am so tempted to say something calmly to her next time she drops off DSD. Not ranty fishwife style just cold hard facts, as I'm fed up with her questioning my committment to her daughter and her manipulation of her. Something along the lines of ' if you have concerns around my treatment of DSD, please feel free to come and talk to me about it. I've only heard that you have issues during arguements with OH, and if i'm not aware of issues I cannot address them' . All of which is true and genuine, despite how I feel about her, it is her daughter after all. However, I know it'll annoy her and give her licence to rant on... as long as DSD is not in earshot I'll quite happily tell her that she's made her choice. Relationship over her daughter. Simple, she knows it, I know it. Trouble is, one day soon DSD will figure it out for herself, poor girl . I just can't understand why she would do this. I know she loves her daughter and wants to start a new life, but it seems at her expense.
Oh dear Georgia, I know how you feel but I think you are best maintaining a dignified silence no matter how frustrating.
My DSS has a 90 minute commute to his school because his mum relocated them to her new husbands home. DSS is nearly 12 and finds it knackering so no idea how a 6yo would find it. He has had quite a few sick days already, so much in fact he called last night and the first thing he said was, 'guess what, I'm not ill!'. According to DSS even his mum is getting sick a lot too, her asthma has got a lot worse. I'm sure its just coincidence and not because they're breathing in exhaust fumes sat in London traffic jams 5 days a week.
When the traffic is bad he doesn't get home until 7pm.
I'm pretty sure school is going to pick up on his absences soon. His head of year wants to talk to my DH about something so maybe they've noticed he's tired?
When dH suggested DSS go to a new school near his new home he got his head bit off.
Still we've decided that as the ex is so bloody minded we'll support her decision so as not to have DSS caught between warring parents. In all likeliness once winter truly bites and its wet, dark and river crossings get closed more often, the novelty of driving so far day in day out will wear off. Plus I am sure if DH made a parenting suggestion the ex agreed with she'd oppose it just because.
But its DSS I feel sorry for he loves his school and will not want to have to change to a new one.
I sometimes write draft emails with my thoughts and responses to the latest crazy the ex comes out with. I sleep on them and delete in the morning. I have refused to bite to her attempts to goad me and mostly now she doesn't bother anymore.
Do you have a computer she can use? Could you encourage her to skpe her mum every day?
But maybe your OH should let her do an overnight at her mum's once a week for as long as DSD genuinly wants to. She's old enough to find out for herself how long the commute is.
Yes, we are trying to encourage Skype, but she is often distracted and tired after a long day Purpleroses.
DSD does some overnights to school (for special occasions etc...) but is (and was previously) tired and grumpy afterwards. I disagree, 6 is far too young. Eating breakfast in the car, getting up early, not a good situation to be in at all.
stepmooster, yep, you're right. It could only make the situation worse I suppose. I'm just struggle with the constant threats, moving of goalposts etc.. and a parent who is choosing their relationship over their child.
its sucks though sticking to the high ground. Maybe I should get a small doll and a box of pins.
No, I didn't mean she was old enough to cope with that lenght of journey - I agree completely that it's far too long for a 6 year old. I just meant that letting her try it a few times, might mean she appreciates that it's too long and doesn't see it as you/OH being unreasonable in "not letting" her do it. But does sound like you have done that a few times, so maybe she just needs reminding.
If she's too distracted and tired to bother skyping her mum, then she can't be that desparate to be with her really. But at 6 you'd have to set it up for her really. My DD is 10 and skypes friends a lot, but that's because I've recently bought her her own laptop - I guess she's a bit young for that sort of thing, though you could get her a cheap tablet with skype on it (and not much else) just for the purposes of talking to her mum.
At only 6 I think she is too young to understand that she is tired and grumpy because of the long journey the day before. I don't think they are that self aware, which is why it is up to the adults to set bedtimes etc to avoid it.
My dc would die rather than admit they were tired, even when they are nodding off in front of me
DSS (8) has no concept of how long car journeys are because he's glued to his Nintendo / DP's phone / DP"s tablet the whole time!
His school and home with his mum is a 45m - 1hr drive from us, and he honestly has no concept of the fact that it adds up to a lot of driving sometimes when he is going back and forth from ours to school/birthday parties / activities. He doesn't properly understand that's why he can't spend more time here midweek, I don't think.
So Id guess a 6 yr old has even less understanding, and I'm not sure that doing the journey to 'show' her how long it is would really help things, rather it could risk setting a precedent...
I do really feel for her, and you, but it sounds like time is going to be the thing that eventually helps this situation. She probably just needs to settle into the new reality a bit and get used to it?
Yes and sometimes as parents we have to make unpopular decisions for our children that they don't like which are ultimately for their own good and it is just tough.
Usually they see why when they are older.
Thanks all, it's great to know that I'm not alone. It's just so incredibly frustrating especially when we hear what ex is saying to her DC, terrible.
I quite agree stepmooster pins and a doll is perhaps the way forward. I ahve another week of being pilleried and critisisied... however, i'm getting used to it and mostly laughing it off..
kaluki, that's the whole point isn't it? Sometimes we have to make unpopular decisions for our children, which is why we have parents / carers and in extreme cases courts to make decisions?
riverboat, same here. There's no co incidence that for every long journey there is a tablet / DS available as well as lots of sweets..
Guess we will have to continue as normal. Keep consistency. More's the pity, DSD is fast learning that she can't rely on her mum to keep promises.
Just wanted to add a new thought...maybe this is stupid here, I don't know, but thought it was a idea.
If you allowed midweek stays...would this also impact her mum? After a while her mum might realise its a tough thing to do for her and your DSD. At that point she might be prepared to sit down with your DP and talk through the problems with your DSD, so she can see its a united decision.
When we've had major issues with the kids not understanding the situation, both DP and their mum have taken time to sit down and explain as a united front. I'm totally not involved.
From my situation, I will say that we've had to carefully explain that their mum has chosen to move a long way from DP, and that long journeys are no ones fault. It's not easy and I've seen horrible tantrums which are directed at us and totally not our fault, but we've had to take it on the chin and love and reassure them.
Of course if her mum will never care that this in the long term is impacting her DD, then this won't work....but I thought I'd throw it out there as an idea.
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